The Head of Financial Stability at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Joseph France, says the Central Bank has started investing in structural policies aimed at changing Ghanaian behaviours that contribute to the depreciation of the cedi.
According to him, these structural policies are mainly targeted at the Ghanaian appetite for foreign foods.
He explained that with more and more Ghanaians developing a taste for foods that are not grown in the country or whose local productions are not enough to meet local demand, for instance, rice, it puts a lot of pressure on the cedi as the majority of the food consumed needs to be imported.
He said by changing the appetite of Ghanaians to staples sufficiently grown in the country, like corn, the pressure on the cedi as a result of food importations would be eased.
Now, what is the staple food of the Ghanaian? The staple food of the Ghanaians is rice.
“So you change your appetite, and what your appetite has changed too, you import.
Growing up we eat mangoes, we eat oranges, we eat pawpaw, and now what do we have? We have apples, and you know, name all of them. All of these are imported.
“So you come up with structural policies and structural policies grind slowly to change the behaviour of the Ghanaian to food that we have here that we grow here than putting pressure on the currency because we import the apples, we import the berries and then all of them.
We don’t plant them here, these are temperate fruits.
“We don’t eat the mangoes anymore. The mangoes get rotten, we don’t have the appetite for them.
We have an appetite for rice and the rice we import them. We don’t grow as much as we can here, and our appetite has changed.”
“So these are some of the structural policies that will be put in place to gradually bring the Ghanaian around and also to help consume what we grow here and not what we have to use the limited foreign currency to import. So gradually we will get there,” he added.